Triumphs Show 167: Keeping the 1960s complicated

Teaching History feature: celebrating and sharing success

By Rachel Coleman, published 27th June 2017

Teaching Year 9 pupils to enjoy history's complexities

During her PGCE year, it became evident to Rachel Coleman just how much pupils struggled with the complicated nature of history. They were troubled in particular by the lack of definitive answers, by the range of perspectives that might be held at the time of a particular event or development and by the multitude of subsequent interpretations. Coleman sought to build pupils’ confidence through the design of a short scheme of work aimed at a high-attaining Year 9 class that would help them to accept, appreciate and even enjoy the complicated nature of history.

In the scheme presented here, pupils were asked first to deconstruct various common impressions of the 1960s and assumptions about well-known events, then to examine further source material and contrasting interpretations by historians. Finally, they had to reconstruct their own conclusions, now re-shaped by more complex insights into diverse events and developments...

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